FCC Week 11: Additional Information and Issues, Video 5

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Lesson tags: additional training and support, drugs, medications, other methods, pychotropic, review of knowledge 5, sedative

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  • I had a really good Skype call this week that gave me a chance to try reminiscing with my mother and my sister, who also participated in the call. Prior to the call I sent them a Google Photos link to some pictures of a recent camping trip Joan and I took to western Maryland, as well as a canoeing and kayaking trip we took with our son on the Potomac River.

    My mother really enjoyed the photos and they provided a great way to ask some open-ended questions about her memories of vacations with her family. She talked about driving to Montana with her family when she was 15 years old to visit relatives and then tour Yellowstone National Park, a story I’d never heard before. She also talked about how much she enjoyed spending time at my grandparent’s place on the shore of Lake Superior near Grand Marais, Minnesota, where they lived for several years after they retired from farming.

    This led to other memories about our family’s vacations, including a wonderful canoe trip with my grandparents in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. She also asked if we remembered any vacations with my father, who died in 1978. My sister and I were able to remind her of a wonderful family car camping trip we took to Canada and the cabin we stayed at near Bemidji, Minnesota that all of us loved, including our dog and two cats that came along, too. I think she really enjoyed remembering those fun times.

    At the end of the call, she said how much she enjoyed being able to see me during our calls. This has made a huge difference in the length and quality of our weekly interactions. I think the reminiscence technique was also very successful and can see using it often.

  • I was a little behind in my exercises and didn’t understand why Rose suddenly set up mom’s easel and started talking about all the activities she had planned. I get it now.

    I’m going to focus on reminiscing. My niece (Rose’s daughter in law) mentioned to me that she likes to visit Grandma as she can get Grandma telling stories about her earlier life. Mom often tells the story of how she didn’t intend to marry but my dad was very persistent.

  • I noticed that while visiting some distant relatives, Mom again commented on her worries about running out of money. Next chance I get I will ask her: “What would be the worst thing for you if you ran out of money?

    I noticed that she is possibly missing her photos from the past that she gave to her niece who is the historian of the family. I think she would enjoy a Memory Box.

    I also want to take her to a Symphony or some type of musical event. Now that she has hearing aides she might really enjoy getting carrying away by the music.

  • Mom and I had a terrific time reminiscing one day this past week. Earlier in the day I had asked her who she thought I was. She had to think about it and then said that she thought I was her mother’s niece and that she had known me for a few years ever since she had learned that I was her relative.

    We sat down to have lunch together. She brought a book to the table and opened it to read. I said, “Mom, I have a question for you.” She looked up at me from her book waiting for me to ask my question. I asked, “What was the happiest moment of your life?” She seemed intrigued by the question. She closed the book, thought about it for a moment, and said, “I don’t know. What’s yours?”

    As I was asking her the question, the thought of my wedding day just came right up within me. So I told her that I remembered being happy every second of my wedding day, and that I knew I didn’t have to worry about anything that day, because Fay, one of her two dearest friends from junior high school was our wedding planner/coordinator, and if anything went awry she would know exactly what to do to take care of it. As I was talking about Fay, Mom looked me straight in the eye with a smile… and was completely herself. She said, “Next time you see Fay, tell her everything you’ve told me.” We went on to talk in detail about the many friends who had come from near and our relatives who had come from afar.

    After lunch we went to the podiatrist and then to the salon where she willingly had her hair washed.

    Later, as I was saying goodbye to her for the day, I repeated my earlier question. “Who do you think I am?” She took the side of my face and cheek into her hand, held me, looked me in the eye with love, a sparkle in her eyes and with a clear, warm, voice tone said, “You are my child. You’re wonderful. Keep it up.”

    What worked: Preliminary Centering, Open Questions, Eye Contact (HERS!), Voice Tone, Anchoring Touch (HERS!). Mom came out of herself that afternoon and was connecting and relating to me with striking cogency.

  • My daughter brought my wife to the dollar store and purchased small painting kits, wood design of fall, thanksgiving decorations with paint and paint brushes. Saturday evening when I returned from Denver they were both on the patio painting.

    My wife enjoyed the experience and she has brought out new items to paint. There is a water color class at our local Senior Center, I’m going to look into it but a situation where she is participating with others.

  • I have been worried to take out the photo albums, as my mother is fiercely protective of them. I worried she would remove all the pictures or try to cut them up for one of her “projects.” (She really likes cutting things up – like her clothes, emery boards, doilies, etc)
    One day I desperately needed a few moments to get something done when everyone was home – I needed a distraction for everyone. I brought out the photo album and initiated a game of “Let’s guess who this is.” My daughters had a blast guessing the faces of aunts and uncles from 20 years ago (many times they thought it was their cousin rather than their aunt or uncle!) My mom was having a great time telling stories about the bits and pieces she remembered. We were even surprised to find out that some really old pictures of my mom (at my age), look just like my sister right now! The memories were fun for both my mom and myself, and the kids just were excited to see something new. I think my kids were a bit amazed to see pictures of grandma having a “normal” life and “doing things.” This reminded us all that she is a person with a lifetime of experience.

    Also, my mom did not get obsessed over the pictures or take them out or cut them up. I even let her keep the photo album in her room (although I am a little worried she will drop it on her foot -it is heavy!)

    I am trying hard to do as Vicki recommended and try not to have so much “control” over the situation. Sometimes control keeps things tidy but leads to undesirable behaviors so I have to let that go.

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